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Metals, Volume 10, Issue 6 (June 2020) – 147 articles

Gas-atomized high-entropy alloyed spherical powders were consolidated by spark plasma sintering (SPS), and the SPS sample was plasma nitrided using an active screen. A uniform microstructure without segregation was obtained in the SPS sample. Analysis of the nitrided sample surface revealed that an expanded face-centered cubic phase formed on the surface plasma-nitrided at 673 K and that a CrN phase formed on the surface plasma-nitrided at >723 K. The surface hardness of the plasma-nitrided sample was ≥1200 HV, and the wear resistance and pitting corrosion resistance were improved compared with those of the SPS sample.


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Cover Story (view full-size image) Gas-atomized high-entropy alloyed spherical powders were consolidated by spark plasma sintering [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Steel Surface Defect Classification Using Deep Residual Neural Network
Metals 2020, 10(6), 846; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10060846 - 26 Jun 2020
Viewed by 228
Abstract
An automated method for detecting and classifying three classes of surface defects in rolled metal has been developed, which allows for conducting defectoscopy with specified parameters of efficiency and speed. The possibility of using the residual neural networks for classifying defects has been [...] Read more.
An automated method for detecting and classifying three classes of surface defects in rolled metal has been developed, which allows for conducting defectoscopy with specified parameters of efficiency and speed. The possibility of using the residual neural networks for classifying defects has been investigated. The classifier based on the ResNet50 neural network is accepted as a basis. The model allows classifying images of flat surfaces with damage of three classes with the general accuracy of 96.91% based on the test data. The use of ResNet50 is shown to provide excellent recognition, high speed, and accuracy, which makes it an effective tool for detecting defects on metal surfaces. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental and Numerical Analysis of the Influence of Burst Pressure Distribution on Rapid Free Sheet Forming by Vaporizing Foil Actuators
Metals 2020, 10(6), 845; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10060845 - 26 Jun 2020
Viewed by 242
Abstract
Vaporizing Foil Actuators (VFA) can be employed as an innovative, extremely fast sheet metal forming method. An ultimate goal in forming technologies is generally to be flexible and rely on as few part-specific tools as possible. Therefore, various realizable VFA pressure distributions were [...] Read more.
Vaporizing Foil Actuators (VFA) can be employed as an innovative, extremely fast sheet metal forming method. An ultimate goal in forming technologies is generally to be flexible and rely on as few part-specific tools as possible. Therefore, various realizable VFA pressure distributions were investigated with a focus on the free forming result. Fundamental experiments including laser-based dynamic velocity measurements were conducted to discuss some key forming characteristics of the process. To compare more complex pressure distributions in a well-defined way, a numerical model was built. The strain rate dependency of the blank material was identified experimentally and incorporated in the model. It is shown that there are some VFA free forming capabilities in terms of creating certain part shapes, but only to a limited degree because relevant inertial forces can be present in regions where displacements would actually be either undesirable or wanted. Potential solutions to this are given at the end. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Surface Integrity in 18CrNiMo7-6 Steel after Multiple Abrasive Waterjet Peening Process
Metals 2020, 10(6), 844; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10060844 - 26 Jun 2020
Viewed by 238
Abstract
Abrasive waterjet peening (AWJP) as an important surface strengthening method can effectively improve surface properties. In this study, after multiple AWJP, the distribution of compressive residual stress and roughness on the surface of 18CrNiMo7-6 steel has been evaluated by an X-ray diffraction (XRD) [...] Read more.
Abrasive waterjet peening (AWJP) as an important surface strengthening method can effectively improve surface properties. In this study, after multiple AWJP, the distribution of compressive residual stress and roughness on the surface of 18CrNiMo7-6 steel has been evaluated by an X-ray diffraction (XRD) method and a 3D surface topography system, respectively. Compared with the single AWJP, multiple AWJP can obviously increase the surface residual stresses (−1024 MPa to −1455 MPa) and the depth of maximum compressive residual stress (100 μm to 120 μm), as well as make the stress distribution more uniform. In terms of the surface roughness, multiple AWJP influences its uniform distribution and reduces the surface roughness (Sa = 0.69 μm), compared with a single AWJP (Sa = 2.96 μm), due to the smaller shot balls and a uniform deformation during multiple AWJP. In addition, we have studied the effects of multiple AWJP on the hardness of the surface layer. The results show that multiple AWJP increases the hardness by up to 15.9%, compared to the single AWJP. These studies provide useful insight into improving the surface properties of 18CrNiMo7-6 steel by multiple AWJP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Surface Engineering of Metals and Alloys)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Recycling of Titanium Alloy Powders and Swarf through Continuous Extrusion (ConformTM) into Affordable Wire for Additive Manufacturing
Metals 2020, 10(6), 843; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10060843 - 26 Jun 2020
Viewed by 456
Abstract
Over the last 20 years, there has been growing research and development investment to exploit the benefits of wire deposition additive manufacturing (AM) for the production of near-net shape components in aircraft and space applications. The wire feedstock for these processes is a [...] Read more.
Over the last 20 years, there has been growing research and development investment to exploit the benefits of wire deposition additive manufacturing (AM) for the production of near-net shape components in aircraft and space applications. The wire feedstock for these processes is a significant part of the overall process costs, especially for high-value materials such as alloyed titanium. Powders for powder-based AM have tight specifications regarding size and morphology, resulting in a significant amount of waste during the powder production. In the aerospace sector, up to 95% of forged billet can be machined away, and with increasing aircraft orders, stockpiles of such machining swarf are increasing. In this study, the continuous extrusion process—ConformTM—was employed to consolidate waste titanium alloy feedstocks in the forms of gas atomised powder and machining swarf into wire. Samples of wire were further cold-drawn down to 40% reduction, using conventional wiredrawing equipment. As close to 100% of the waste powder can be converted to wire by using the ConformTM process. This technology offers an attractive addition to the circular economy for manufacturers and, with further development, could be an important addition as industries move toward more sustainable supply chains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from LightMat 2019)
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Open AccessArticle
The Characteristics of Laser Welding of a Thin Aluminum Tab and Steel Battery Case for Lithium-Ion Battery
Metals 2020, 10(6), 842; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10060842 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 348
Abstract
During lithium-ion battery packing, joining between battery cases and tabs is challenging for manufacturers due to dissimilar materials of the battery case and the tab, as well as their thicknesses. Laser welding, which has proven to produce a good weld with high productivity [...] Read more.
During lithium-ion battery packing, joining between battery cases and tabs is challenging for manufacturers due to dissimilar materials of the battery case and the tab, as well as their thicknesses. Laser welding, which has proven to produce a good weld with high productivity and low electrical resistance, is introduced to weld these materials. The weld was conducted with nanosecond-pulsed fiber laser and the effect of laser powers on mechanical and electrical properties as well as microstructure of the joint is investigated. The weld bead at the low laser power exhibited several blowholes on the surface, while the formation of voids including centerline and root cavities was observed through the cross-section. Moreover, the phenomenon of upward penetration (UP) was observed in all laser powers and recoil pressure which was generated by metal evaporation was supposed to cause the formation of an upward flow of the lower material. A hardness test was performed on both horizontal and vertical directions through the fusion zone. Additionally, the increase of upward penetration (UP) resulted in higher strength and lower electrical resistance of the weld. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Hydrometallurgical Recovery of Rare Earth Elements from NdFeB Permanent Magnet Scrap: A Review
Metals 2020, 10(6), 841; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10060841 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 273
Abstract
NdFeB permanent magnet scrap is regarded as an important secondary resource which contains rare earth elements (REEs) such as Nd, Pr and Dy. Recovering these valuable REEs from the NdFeB permanent magnet scrap not only increases economic potential, but it also helps to [...] Read more.
NdFeB permanent magnet scrap is regarded as an important secondary resource which contains rare earth elements (REEs) such as Nd, Pr and Dy. Recovering these valuable REEs from the NdFeB permanent magnet scrap not only increases economic potential, but it also helps to reduce problems relating to disposal and the environment. Hydrometallurgical routes are considered to be the primary choice for recovering the REEs because of higher REEs recovery and its application to all types of magnet compositions. In this paper, the authors firstly reviewed the chemical and physical properties of NdFeB permanent magnet scrap, and then carried out an in-depth discussion on a variety of hydrometallurgical processes for recovering REEs from the NdFeB permanent magnet scrap. The methods mainly included selective leaching or complete leaching processes followed by precipitation, solvent extraction or ionic liquids extraction processes. Particular attention is devoted to the specific technical challenge that emerges in the hydrometallurgical recovery of REEs from NdFeB permanent magnet scrap and to the corresponding potential measures for improving REEs recovery by promoting the processing efficiency. This summarized review will be useful for researchers who are developing processes for recovering REEs from NdFeB permanent magnet scrap. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mineral Processing and Hydrometallurgy)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Turning Parameters and Parametric Optimization of the Cutting Forces in Machining SiCp/Al 45 wt% Composite
Metals 2020, 10(6), 840; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10060840 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 273
Abstract
Cutting force in the machining process of SiCp/Al particle reinforced metal matrix composite is affected by several factors. Obtaining an effective mathematical model for the cutting force is challenging. In that respect, the second-order model of cutting force has been established by response [...] Read more.
Cutting force in the machining process of SiCp/Al particle reinforced metal matrix composite is affected by several factors. Obtaining an effective mathematical model for the cutting force is challenging. In that respect, the second-order model of cutting force has been established by response surface methodology (RSM) in this study, with different cutting parameters, such as cutting speed, feed rate, and depth of cut. The optimized mathematical model has been developed to analyze the effect of actual processing conditions on the generation of cutting force for the turning process of SiCp/Al composite. The results show that the predicted parameters by the RSM are in close agreement with experimental results with minimal error percentage. Quantitative evaluation by using analysis of variance (ANOVA), main effects plot, interactive effect, residual analysis, and optimization of cutting forces using the desirability function was performed. It has been found that the higher depth of cut, followed by feed rate, increases the cutting force. Higher cutting speed shows a positive response by reducing the cutting force. The predicted and experimental results for the model of SiCp/Al components have been compared to the cutting force of SiCp/Al 45 wt%—the error has been found low showing a good agreement. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Quality Assessment Method Based on a Spectrometer in Laser Beam Welding Process
Metals 2020, 10(6), 839; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10060839 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 297
Abstract
For the automation of a laser beam welding (LBW) process, the weld quality must be monitored without destructive testing, and the quality must be assessed. A deep neural network (DNN)-based quality assessment method in spectrometry-based LBW is presented in this study. A spectrometer [...] Read more.
For the automation of a laser beam welding (LBW) process, the weld quality must be monitored without destructive testing, and the quality must be assessed. A deep neural network (DNN)-based quality assessment method in spectrometry-based LBW is presented in this study. A spectrometer with a response range of 225–975 nm is designed and fabricated to measure and analyze the light reflected from the welding area in the LBW process. The weld quality is classified through welding experiments, and the spectral data are thus analyzed using the spectrometer, according to the welding conditions and weld quality classes. The measured data are converted to RGB (red, green, blue) values to obtain standardized and simplified spectral data. The weld quality prediction model is designed based on DNN, and the DNN model is trained using the experimental data. It is seen that the developed model has a weld-quality prediction accuracy of approximately 90%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Welding Technology in Metals)
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Open AccessArticle
Smart Stress Annihilation in Steels Using Residual Stress Distribution Monitoring and Localized Induction Heating
Metals 2020, 10(6), 838; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10060838 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 239
Abstract
The monitoring and control of residual stresses and microstructure are of paramount importance for the steel industry. Residual stress annihilation is needed during the entire lifetime of steels. In this paper, we presented a stress monitoring and annihilation method, based on a force [...] Read more.
The monitoring and control of residual stresses and microstructure are of paramount importance for the steel industry. Residual stress annihilation is needed during the entire lifetime of steels. In this paper, we presented a stress monitoring and annihilation method, based on a force sensor for stress monitoring and an induction heater for localized heat treatment and corresponding stress annihilation. The heat treatment results indicated an at least 90% reduction of localized stresses, allowing for the implementation of the method in steel production and manufacturing to improve steel quality and perform faultless steel production and manufacturing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue FaSTeP: Faultless Steel Production and Manufacturing)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Ti Content on the Behavior of Primary Carbides in H13 Ingots
Metals 2020, 10(6), 837; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10060837 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 232
Abstract
The Ti element plays a role in pinning grain boundaries but also has a good binding ability to C and N, forming large primary carbides. Therefore, the effect of Ti content on primary carbides’ behavior in H13 ingots was comprehensively studied. A non-aqueous [...] Read more.
The Ti element plays a role in pinning grain boundaries but also has a good binding ability to C and N, forming large primary carbides. Therefore, the effect of Ti content on primary carbides’ behavior in H13 ingots was comprehensively studied. A non-aqueous electrolysis method was used to determine the three-dimensional (3D) characteristics of primary carbides. We found a great difference between the two-dimensional (2D) and the three-dimensional characteristics of primary carbides. When performing 2D analyses, the density of the primary carbides appeared high, while their size was small. The actual characteristics of primary carbides can be obtained only by 3D observation. The primary carbide showed a typical dendritic structure, whose center consisted of Ti–V-rich carbide wrapped by V-rich carbide. As the Ti content increased, the size of the primary carbide increased from 24.9 μm to 41.3 μm, and the number density increases from 25.6 per/mm2 to 43.9 per/mm2. The Ti4C2S2 phase precipitated first, then changed into Ti–V-rich carbide, and finally further partly transformed into V-rich carbide. The addition of elemental Ti promoted the precipitation and transformation of primary carbides, resulting in an increase of the number density and size. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inclusion/Precipitate Engineering in Steels)
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Open AccessCommunication
Molecular Dynamics-Based Cohesive Zone Model for Mg/Mg17Al12 Interface
Metals 2020, 10(6), 836; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10060836 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 226
Abstract
The fracture of the Mg/Mg17Al12 interface was investigated by molecular dynamics simulations. The interface crack extends in a brittle manner without noticeable plasticity. The distributions of normal stress and separation along the interface were examined to render a quantitative picture [...] Read more.
The fracture of the Mg/Mg17Al12 interface was investigated by molecular dynamics simulations. The interface crack extends in a brittle manner without noticeable plasticity. The distributions of normal stress and separation along the interface were examined to render a quantitative picture of the fracture process. A normal traction–separation curve was extracted from simulation and compared with three cohesive zone models, i.e., cubic polynomial cohesive zone model, exponential cohesive zone model, and bilinear cohesive zone model. The exponential cohesive zone model exhibits the best agreement with simulation results, followed by the bilinear cohesive zone model. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Tool Performance Optimization While Machining Aluminium-Based Metal Matrix Composite
Metals 2020, 10(6), 835; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10060835 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 259
Abstract
Finite element (FE) models and the multi objective genetic algorithm (MOGA-II) have been applied for tool performance optimization while machining aluminum-based metal matrix composites. The developed and verified FE models are utilized to generate data for the full factorial design of experiment (DOE) [...] Read more.
Finite element (FE) models and the multi objective genetic algorithm (MOGA-II) have been applied for tool performance optimization while machining aluminum-based metal matrix composites. The developed and verified FE models are utilized to generate data for the full factorial design of experiment (DOE) plan. The FE models consist of a heterogenous workpiece, which assumes uniform distribution of reinforced particles according to size and volume fraction. Cutting forces, chip morphology, temperature contours, stress distributions in the workpiece and tool by altering cutting speed, feed rate, and reinforcement particle size can be estimated using developed FE models. The DOE data are then utilized to develop response surfaces using radial basis functions. To reduce computational time, these response surfaces are used as solver for optimization runs using MOGA-II. Tool performance has been optimized with regard to cutting temperatures and stresses while setting a limit on specific cutting energy. Optimal solutions are found with low cutting speed and moderate feed rates for each particle size metal matrix composite (MMC). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimization and Analysis of Metal Cutting Processes)
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Open AccessArticle
Phase Transformation of High Velocity Air Fuel (HVAF)-Sprayed Al-Cu-Fe-Si Quasicrystalline Coating
Metals 2020, 10(6), 834; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10060834 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 278
Abstract
Al-Cu-Fe-Si quasicrystalline coatings were prepared by high velocity air fuel spraying to study their phase transformation during the process. The feedstock powder and coating were phase characterized by scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffractometry, differential scanning calorimetry, and transmission electron microscopy. Results show that [...] Read more.
Al-Cu-Fe-Si quasicrystalline coatings were prepared by high velocity air fuel spraying to study their phase transformation during the process. The feedstock powder and coating were phase characterized by scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffractometry, differential scanning calorimetry, and transmission electron microscopy. Results show that Al3Cu2 phase, a small amount of λ-Al13Fe4 phase, quasicrystalline phase (QC), amorphous phase, and β-Al (Cu, Fe, Si) phase were present in the sprayed Al50Cu20Fe15Si15 powder. For a typical flattened powder particle, the splat periphery was surrounded by a 1 µm thick amorphous phase. The inside area of the splat was composed of the QC covered by the Al3Cu2 and Si-rich β-Al (Cu, Fe, Si) phases. Another kind of Cu- rich β-Al (Cu, Fe, Si) phase can be found close to the amorphous area with a similar composition to the original β-Al (Cu, Fe, Si) phase in the powder. Different phases were observed when the periphery and inside area of the splat were compared. This result was caused by the difference in the heating and cooling rates. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Mechanism and Kinetics of Malachite Dissolution in an NH4OH System
Metals 2020, 10(6), 833; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10060833 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 279
Abstract
Copper oxide minerals composed of carbonates consume high quantities of leaching reagent. The present research proposes an alternative procedure for malachite leaching (Cu2CO3(OH)2) through the use of only compound, ammonium hydroxide (NH4OH). Preliminary studies were [...] Read more.
Copper oxide minerals composed of carbonates consume high quantities of leaching reagent. The present research proposes an alternative procedure for malachite leaching (Cu2CO3(OH)2) through the use of only compound, ammonium hydroxide (NH4OH). Preliminary studies were also carried out for the dissolution of malachite in an acid system. The variables evaluated were solution pH, stirring rate, temperature, NH4OH concentration, particle size, solid/liquid ratio and different ammonium reagents. The experiments were carried out in a stirred batch system with controlled temperatures and stirring rates. For the acid dissolution system, sulfuric acid consumption reached excessive values (986 kg H2SO4/ton of malachite), invalidating the dissolution in these common systems. On the other hand, for the ammoniacal system, there was no acid consumption and the results show that copper recovery was very high, reaching values of 84.1% for a concentration of 0.2 mol/dm3 of NH4OH and an experiment time of 7200 s. The theoretical/thermodynamic calculations indicate that the solution pH was a significant factor in maintaining the copper soluble as Cu(NH3)42+. This was validated by the experimental results and solid analysis by X-ray diffraction (XRD), from which the reaction mechanisms were obtained. A heterogeneous kinetic model was obtained from the diffusion model in a porous layer for particles that begin the reaction as nonporous but which become porous during the reaction as the original solid splits and cracks to form a highly porous structure. The reaction order for the NH4OH concentration was 3.2 and was inversely proportional to the square of the initial radius of the particle. The activation energy was calculated at 36.1 kJ/mol in the temperature range of 278 to 313 K. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mineral Processing and Hydrometallurgy)
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Thermal Processing Factors, Linked to the Destabilisation of Austenite, on the Microstructural Variation of a White Cast Iron Containing 25% Cr and 0.6% Mo
Metals 2020, 10(6), 832; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10060832 - 23 Jun 2020
Viewed by 248
Abstract
Hypoeutectic white cast irons containing 25% Cr are used in ore-processing industries due to their high resistance to erosive wear. Applying a Design of Experiments (DoE), the aim of this study is to analyse the influence of thermal processing factors on the microstructural [...] Read more.
Hypoeutectic white cast irons containing 25% Cr are used in ore-processing industries due to their high resistance to erosive wear. Applying a Design of Experiments (DoE), the aim of this study is to analyse the influence of thermal processing factors on the microstructural variation of a white cast iron containing 25% Cr and 0.6% Mo. The carbides present in the as-cast state are of the M7C3, M2C, and M3C types. M2C carbides precipitate on the eutectic M7C3 carbides favoured by heterogeneous nucleation conditions. Two kinetics compete during the destabilisation of austenite. One dissolves those eutectic carbides precipitated as a result of non-equilibrium solidification (M7C3 and M2C), while the other enables the precipitation of secondary M7C3 and M23C6 carbides. The M7C3 carbides begin to precipitate first. Low destabilisation temperatures and short dwell times are insufficient to dissolve the precipitated eutectic carbides from non-equilibrium conditions, thus favouring the presence of M2C carbides, which are associated with Mo. The factor that has the greatest influence on hardness is the tempering temperature. The optimal tempering temperature is found to be 500 °C. Short tempering times maintain the distortion of the ferrite unit cell. The precipitation of Cr carbides during tempering requires a temperature of 500 °C and the prior dissolution of the carbon precipitated during the initial stages of said tempering. With short tempering times, the Cr atoms still remain dissolved in the ferrite, distorting its unit cell and increasing the hardness of the matrix constituent of the alloy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Hard Materials)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Surface Severe Plastic Deformation on the Mechanical Behavior of 304 Stainless Steel
Metals 2020, 10(6), 831; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10060831 - 23 Jun 2020
Viewed by 270
Abstract
In this study, two innovative surface severe plastic deformation (SSPD) methods, namely abrasive waterjet peening (AWJP) and ultrasonic nanocrystal surface modification (UNSM), were applied to a 304 stainless steel to improve the mechanical behavior. The surface roughness, microstructure, residual stress, hardness, and tensile [...] Read more.
In this study, two innovative surface severe plastic deformation (SSPD) methods, namely abrasive waterjet peening (AWJP) and ultrasonic nanocrystal surface modification (UNSM), were applied to a 304 stainless steel to improve the mechanical behavior. The surface roughness, microstructure, residual stress, hardness, and tensile mechanical properties of the alloy after the two SSPD treatments were studied systematically. The results show that both the AWJP and UNSM treatments have greatly positive effects on the mechanical-properties improvements by successfully introducing a hardening layer. Especially the UNSM-processed specimen possesses the most outstanding comprehensive mechanical properties (high strength with the comparable ductility). The yield strength with the UNSM treatment is 443 MPa, corresponding to the 109% and 19% improvements, as compared to that of the base (212 MPa) and AWJP-treated specimens (372 MPa). The results can be attributed to a much thicker hardening layer (about 500 μm) and a better surface integrity with lower roughness (Ra: 0.10 μm) formed by the UNSM technique. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Enhancement of Fatigue Endurance Limit through Ultrasonic Surface Rolling Processing in EA4T Axle Steel
Metals 2020, 10(6), 830; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10060830 - 23 Jun 2020
Viewed by 250
Abstract
Fatigue property is a key evaluation index for the service reliability of railway axle. In this work, the effect of ultrasonic surface rolling processing (USRP) on the surface characteristic and fatigue property was investigated in an EA4T axle steel used on high speed [...] Read more.
Fatigue property is a key evaluation index for the service reliability of railway axle. In this work, the effect of ultrasonic surface rolling processing (USRP) on the surface characteristic and fatigue property was investigated in an EA4T axle steel used on high speed trains by several characterization techniques and the staircase method fatigue testing. The surface characteristics were initially studied in EA4T axle steel under different static loads of 1.0 kN, 1.5 kN and 2.0 kN, and served as the important USRP parameter. It was found that the larger static load greatly improved the surface microstructure, microhardness and compressive residual stress, but also increased the surface roughness. Furthermore, the rotating bending fatigue endurance limit of the USRP specimen with a static load of 1.5 kN was obviously enhanced by ~14% (from ~352 MPa to ~401 MPa) relative to the untreated specimen. The enhanced fatigue limit induced by USRP was attributed to the synergistic effect of the grain refinement, as evidenced by transmission electron microscope (TEM) observation, work-hardening, the increased compressive residual stress and the reduced surface roughness. Moreover, the fatigue limit of the USRP specimen was ~4% higher than that of the rolling specimen with turning off the ultrasonic system, ~386 MPa, which showed that the role of the ultrasonic impact could enhance the fatigue property. These findings demonstrate the validity of this technique in modifying the surface characteristics and thus improving the fatigue resistance of axle material, further ensuring its service safety and reliability. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Advanced Simulation Technologies of Metallurgical Processing
Metals 2020, 10(6), 829; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10060829 - 23 Jun 2020
Viewed by 333
Abstract
Although the design and performance of metallurgical processes are still carried out on an experimental basis, numerical methods and simulation software—either commercial or open-source—have developed into a standard for these processes [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Simulation Technologies of Metallurgical Processing)
Open AccessArticle
Hot Deformation Behavior and Processing Maps of Ti-6554 Alloy for Aviation Key Structural Parts
Metals 2020, 10(6), 828; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10060828 - 21 Jun 2020
Viewed by 335
Abstract
With the development of the aviation industry, the performance requirements of materials for aviation large-scale structural parts are getting higher and higher. Ti-6554 alloy is the material of choice for aviation large-scale structural parts, but its forming process window is narrow and its [...] Read more.
With the development of the aviation industry, the performance requirements of materials for aviation large-scale structural parts are getting higher and higher. Ti-6554 alloy is the material of choice for aviation large-scale structural parts, but its forming process window is narrow and its microstructure is sensitive to process parameters, which affects the performance of the alloy. By adjusting the existing hot deformation process, it is of great significance to improve the properties of the alloy. Hot compression tests of Ti-6554 alloy were carried out at temperatures of 715–840 °C and strain rates of 0.001–1 s−1. The results show that the flow stress and peak stress increased significantly with the increase of strain rate. At the same strain rate, the strain required for the stress to reach the peak point is smaller with the temperature increases. When the deformation temperature is below the phase transition point, the volume fraction and size of primary α phase gradually decrease with the increase of deformation temperature, while when the temperature is above the phase transition point, with the increase of deformation temperature, β grains grow up gradually, and the grain boundary bending effect is more obvious. The hyperbolic-sine Arrhenius constitutive equation was established. The correlation coefficient between experimental data and model calculated data reached 0.994. It indicates that the stress constitutive model proposed in this study can accurately reflect the stress characteristics of Ti-6554 alloy. Based on the dynamic material model, the processing maps of the alloy were established. The optimum hot deformation parameters range of the alloy was determined by analyzing the processing maps: the deformation temperature range of 800–830 °C, the strain rate range of 0.001–0.01 s−1. Through the analysis of the processing maps, the instability regions in the process of cross-phase forging can be effectively avoided, and the performance of the forging can be effectively improved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Titanium Alloys and Titanium-Based Matrix Composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Corrosion Resistance and Ion Release of Dental Prosthesis of CoCr Obtained by CAD-CAM Milling, Casting and Laser Sintering
Metals 2020, 10(6), 827; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10060827 - 21 Jun 2020
Viewed by 343
Abstract
Corrosion resistance and ion release behavior have been evaluated for thirty dental restoration samples obtained by three different manufacturing systems: computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD-CAM), traditional casting and laser sintering. The alloy used was the CoCr alloy (same batch) generally used in clinical [...] Read more.
Corrosion resistance and ion release behavior have been evaluated for thirty dental restoration samples obtained by three different manufacturing systems: computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD-CAM), traditional casting and laser sintering. The alloy used was the CoCr alloy (same batch) generally used in clinical dentistry. Corrosion resistance has been evaluated by electrochemical testing in an artificial saliva medium at 37 °C. Corrosion parameters such as critical current density (icr), corrosion potential (Ecorr), and passive current density (ip), have been determined. Cobalt and Chromium ions released from the different samples have also been analyzed in an artificial saliva medium at 37 °C by Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) at different immersion times. The casted samples showed higher corrosion rates and ion-release levels. The CAD-CAM milled samples presented lower ion-release levels and better corrosion resistance due to the total solubility of the chemical elements in only one phase with the same chemical composition. This homogeneity avoids the formation of electrochemical corrosion. Moreover, the absence of defects and residual stresses increases the corrosion resistance. Casted and laser sintered prostheses have shown the presence of Cr, W, and Nb rich-precipitates which are detrimental to the corrosion resistance. These precipitates produce a decrease in the Cr content on the surface. It is well known that the corrosion resistance increases with the Cr content by the formation of Chromium oxide on the surface that increases passivation. Consequently, the decrease in Cr induces an increase in corrosion and ion release. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Phase Equilibrium Diagram for Electric Arc Furnace Slag Optimization in High Alloyed Chromium Stainless Steelmaking
Metals 2020, 10(6), 826; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10060826 - 20 Jun 2020
Viewed by 378
Abstract
The electric arc furnace (EAF) process for steelmaking of Cr and Ni high alloyed stainless steel grades differs significantly from the steelmaking process of carbon steel due to the special raw materials and generally lower oxygen consumption. The special slag chemistry in the [...] Read more.
The electric arc furnace (EAF) process for steelmaking of Cr and Ni high alloyed stainless steel grades differs significantly from the steelmaking process of carbon steel due to the special raw materials and generally lower oxygen consumption. The special slag chemistry in the EAF process affects slag foaming and refractory wear characteristics due to an increased content of CrOx. A special slag diagram is presented in order to improve monitoring and control of slag compositions for Cr alloyed heats, with special focus on saturation to MgO periclase and dicalcium silicate C2S in order to minimize MgO losses from the refractory lining and to improve slag refining capability by avoidance of stable C2S. With the same diagram different EAF process strategies can be efficiently monitored, either at elevated CaO and basicity with lower spinel concentration and more liquid process slags near C2S saturation or at lower CaO content and basicity with increased spinel concentration and stiffer slags at MgO saturation but certainly no C2S stability. Examples for three industrial EAFs are given. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Interfacial Reactions between Mg-40Al and Mg-30Y Master Alloys
Metals 2020, 10(6), 825; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10060825 - 20 Jun 2020
Viewed by 297
Abstract
Interfacial reactions between Mg-40Al and Mg-30Y master alloys were investigated at intervals of 25 °C in the 350–400 °C by using a diffusion couple method. Noticeable reaction layers were formed at the interfaces of the diffusion couples. The concentration profiles of the reaction [...] Read more.
Interfacial reactions between Mg-40Al and Mg-30Y master alloys were investigated at intervals of 25 °C in the 350–400 °C by using a diffusion couple method. Noticeable reaction layers were formed at the interfaces of the diffusion couples. The concentration profiles of the reaction layers were characterized. The diffusion path of the diffusion couple at 400 °C is constructed on the Mg-Al-Y ternary isothermal temperature phase diagram. The phases of the reaction layer were characterized by X-ray diffraction. The interfacial reaction thermodynamics of diffusion couples were studied. These results indicate that Al2Y is the only new formed intermetallic phase in the reaction layers. The growth constants of the reaction layers were calculated. In the reaction layer II, the integrated interdiffusion coefficients of Al are higher than Y, the diffusion activation energy of Y is higher than that of Al. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Design and Development of Complex Phase Steels with Improved Combination of Strength and Stretch-Flangeability
Metals 2020, 10(6), 824; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10060824 - 20 Jun 2020
Viewed by 415
Abstract
This study presents the design and development of a hot-rolled bainitic steel, presenting a good combination of strength and stretch-flangeability, for automotive applications. Ti, Nb, and Mo were added in the steel composition in order to control austenite grain sizes, enhance precipitation hardening, [...] Read more.
This study presents the design and development of a hot-rolled bainitic steel, presenting a good combination of strength and stretch-flangeability, for automotive applications. Ti, Nb, and Mo were added in the steel composition in order to control austenite grain sizes, enhance precipitation hardening, and promote the formation of bainite. This study focuses on the effect of process parameters on final microstructures and mechanical properties. These parameters are the finishing rolling temperature, which conditions the austenite microstructure before its decomposition, and the coiling temperature, which conditions the nature and morphology of the ferritic phases transformed. A preliminary study allowed to determine the austenite grain growth behavior during reheating, the recrystallization kinetics, and the continuous cooling transformation curves of the studied steel. Then, a first set of parameters was tested at a semi-industrial scale, which confirmed that the best elongation properties were obtained for homogeneous bainitic lath/granular microstructures, that can be produced by choosing a coiling temperature of 500 C . When choosing those parameters for the final industrial trial, the microstructure obtained consisted of a homogeneous lath/granular bainite mixture that presented a Ultimate Tensile Strength of 830 MPa and a Hole Expansion Ratio exceeding 70%. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of the Transformation of ε-Fe2-3N into γ′-Fe4N Phase on the Fatigue Strength of Gas-Nitrided Pure Iron
Metals 2020, 10(6), 823; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10060823 - 19 Jun 2020
Viewed by 329
Abstract
The effect of the iron nitride phases, ε-Fe2-3N and γ′-Fe4N, on the fatigue strength was investigated. Pure iron was used to observe only the effect of nitride, excluding the effects of factors, such as residual stress, depending on the [...] Read more.
The effect of the iron nitride phases, ε-Fe2-3N and γ′-Fe4N, on the fatigue strength was investigated. Pure iron was used to observe only the effect of nitride, excluding the effects of factors, such as residual stress, depending on the alloy composition and microstructural change according to working on the fatigue strength. In this work, ε and γ′ phases were respectively grown at a time on the surface of the pure iron specimens using the appropriate nitriding potential KN, the mixture rates of ammonia and hydrogen gases, at same temperature of 570 °C according to the Fe-N Lehrer diagram. Another γ′ phase was prepared by first growing the ε phase and then transformed from ε phase into γ′ phase by changing the KN at the same temperature of 570 °C in the 2-stage gas nitriding. The fatigue strengths of the iron nitride consisted of ε and γ′ phases, γ′ phase, and γ′ phase grown by the 2-stage gas nitriding were evaluated, respectively. As a result, first, it can be seen that the diffusion layer of ε phase was deeper than γ′ phase, but fatigue strength was lower. On the other hand, fatigue strength of both the γ′ phases are higher than that of the ε, and the fatigue strength of γ′ phase nitride grown by 2-stage gas nitriding was almost similar to that of γ′ phase nitride grown at a time, i.e., fatigue strength was not significantly related to diffusion depth and depended on nitride phases in this study. Secondly, we cannot clearly conclude that there was the difference in fatigue strength according to the thickness of nitride layer consisted of γ′ phase. However, it is clear that when ε phase was transformed to γ′ phase, fatigue strength had the same level as γ′ phase formed at one time. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Electrochemical Recycling of Platinum Group Metals from Spent Catalytic Converters
Metals 2020, 10(6), 822; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10060822 - 19 Jun 2020
Viewed by 361
Abstract
Platinum group metals (PGMs: Pt, Pd, and Rh) are used extensively by the industry, while the natural resources are limited. The PGM concentration in spent catalytic converters is 100 times larger than in natural occurring ores. Traditional PGM methods use high temperature furnaces [...] Read more.
Platinum group metals (PGMs: Pt, Pd, and Rh) are used extensively by the industry, while the natural resources are limited. The PGM concentration in spent catalytic converters is 100 times larger than in natural occurring ores. Traditional PGM methods use high temperature furnaces and strong oxidants, thus polluting the environment. Electrochemical studies showed that platinum can be converted to their chloride form. The amount of dissolved PGM was monitored by inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy and the structure was identified by ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy. An electrochemistry protocol was designed to maximize platinum dissolution, which was then used for a spent catalytic converter. A key finding is the use of potential step that enhances the dissolution rate by a factor of 4. Recycling rates as high as 50% were achieved in 24 h without any pretreatment of the catalyst. The method developed herein is part of a current need to make the PGM recycling process more sustainable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metal Removal and Recycling)
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Open AccessArticle
Modelling and Experimental Validation of the Porosity Effect on the Behaviour of Nano-Crystalline Materials
Metals 2020, 10(6), 821; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10060821 - 19 Jun 2020
Viewed by 318
Abstract
Nano-crystalline metals have attracted considerable attention over the past two decades due to their increased mechanical properties as compared to their microcrystalline counterparts. However, the behaviour of nano-crystalline metals is influenced by imperfections introduced during synthesis or heat treatment. These imperfections include pores, [...] Read more.
Nano-crystalline metals have attracted considerable attention over the past two decades due to their increased mechanical properties as compared to their microcrystalline counterparts. However, the behaviour of nano-crystalline metals is influenced by imperfections introduced during synthesis or heat treatment. These imperfections include pores, which are mostly located in the area of grain boundaries. To study the behaviour of multiphase nano-crystalline materials, a novel fully parametric algorithm was developed. The data required for implementing the developed numerical model were the volume fraction of the alloying elements and their basic properties as well as the density and the size of randomly distributed pores. To validate the developed algorithm, the alloy composition 75 wt% tungsten and 25 wt% copper was examined experimentally under compression tests. For the investigation, two batches of specimens were used; a batch having a coarse-grained microstructure with an average grain diameter of 150 nm and a nanocrystalline batch having a grain diameter of 100 nm, respectively. The porosity of both batches was derived to range between 9% and 10% based on X-ray diffraction analyses. The results of quasi-static compression testing revealed that the nanocrystalline W-Cu material exhibited brittle behaviour which was characterised by an elastic deformation that led to fracture without remarkable plasticity. A compressive strength of about 1100 MPa was derived which was more than double compared to conventional W-Cu samples. Finite element simulations of the behaviour of porous nano-crystalline materials were performed and compared with the respective experimental compression tests. The numerical model and experimental observations were in good agreement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Physical Metallurgy)
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Open AccessEditorial
Metal Oxides
Metals 2020, 10(6), 820; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10060820 - 19 Jun 2020
Viewed by 323
Abstract
Oxide materials in bulk and thin film form, and metal oxide nanostructures exhibit a great variety of functional properties which make them ideal for applications in solar cells, gas sensors, optoelectronic devices, passive optics, catalysis, corrosion protection, environmental protection, etc. [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metal Oxides)
Open AccessArticle
Effect of Rapid Quenching on the Solidification Microstructure, Tensile Properties and Fracture of Secondary Hypereutectic Al-18%Si-2%Cu Alloy
Metals 2020, 10(6), 819; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10060819 - 19 Jun 2020
Viewed by 283
Abstract
In this work, the effect of rapid quenching from the partially liquid and solid condition is studied on the as-cast microstructure, tensile properties and fracture features of a secondary hypereutectic Al-18%Si-2%Cu alloy. For comparison purposes, the same ingots of 50 mm in diameter [...] Read more.
In this work, the effect of rapid quenching from the partially liquid and solid condition is studied on the as-cast microstructure, tensile properties and fracture features of a secondary hypereutectic Al-18%Si-2%Cu alloy. For comparison purposes, the same ingots of 50 mm in diameter and 300 mm in height were also fabricated using conventional chill casting. The microstructure of the samples was subjected to detailed characterisation using scanning electron microscope (SEM) and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) analyses. The tensile properties and fracture were also evaluated. A significant grain refinement of the eutectic constituents (α (Al) + Si), as well as primary silicon and intermetallics accompanying coarse plate and Chinese script with a well-dispersed morphology transition for the intermetallics, was observed in the alloy subjected to the rapid quenching. The connection between primary and eutectic silicon was shown metallographically, confirming the fact that primary silicon served as a nuclei site for eutectic silicon. The microstructure refinement, together with a favourable morphology transition, resulted in greatly enhanced tensile properties and the more ductile fracture behaviour of the studied alloy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Microstructure of In-Situ Friction Stir Processed Al-Cu Transition Zone
Metals 2020, 10(6), 818; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10060818 - 18 Jun 2020
Viewed by 359
Abstract
The majority of literature sources dedicated to dissimilar Al-Cu friction stir welding testifies to the formation of intermetallic compounds (IMC) according to diffusion-controlled reactions, i.e., without liquation on the Al/Cu interfaces. Fewer sources report on revealing Al-Cu eutectics, i.e., that IMCs are formed [...] Read more.
The majority of literature sources dedicated to dissimilar Al-Cu friction stir welding testifies to the formation of intermetallic compounds (IMC) according to diffusion-controlled reactions, i.e., without liquation on the Al/Cu interfaces. Fewer sources report on revealing Al-Cu eutectics, i.e., that IMCs are formed with the presence of the liquid phase. This work is an attempt to fill the gap in the results and find out the reasons behind such a difference. Structural-phase characteristics of an in-situ friction stir processed (FSP) Al-Cu zone were studied. The single-pass FSPed stir zone (SZ) was characterized by the presence of IMCs such as Al2Cu, Al2Cu3, AlCu3, Al2MgCu, whose distribution in the SZ was extremely inhomogeneous. The advancing side SZ contained large IMC particles as well as Al(Mg,Cu) solid solution (SS) dendrites and Al-Al2Cu eutectics. The retreating side SZ was composed of Al-Cu solid solution layered structures and smaller IMCs. Such a difference may be explained by different levels of heat input with respect to the SZ sides as well as by using lap FSP instead of the butt one. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Casting and Solidification of Light Alloys)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Dynamic Recrystallization on the Transformed Ferrite Microstructures in HSLA Steel
Metals 2020, 10(6), 817; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10060817 - 18 Jun 2020
Viewed by 337
Abstract
The flow stress behavior of high-strength low-alloy (HSLA) steel at different true strains was studied using a hot compression test. The effect of dynamic recrystallization (DRX) on the transformed ferrite microstructures was investigated with electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD). The EBSD analysis indicated that [...] Read more.
The flow stress behavior of high-strength low-alloy (HSLA) steel at different true strains was studied using a hot compression test. The effect of dynamic recrystallization (DRX) on the transformed ferrite microstructures was investigated with electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD). The EBSD analysis indicated that the fraction of high-angle grain boundaries (HAGBs) and DRX increased with increasing true strain. The low-angle grain boundaries (LAGBs) were gradually transformed into HAGBs with increasing DRX degree. When the true strain was increased to 0.916, the fraction of HAGBs increased to 85% and the fraction of DRX increased to 80.3%. The relatively high fraction of HAGBs was related to the complete DRX. The dislocations and substructures in the tested steel at different true strains were characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). TEM observation shows that the nucleation of the dynamically recrystallized grains occurred by the bulging of the original grain boundaries. The DRX nucleation mechanism of the HSLA steel is the strain-induced grain boundary migration mechanism. Full article
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